I wish I could say that I have done research for this post, or at least asked the smartest people I know the answer to this question:
What class should every person take once in their life?
I love this question and wanted to write a post with my own totally random opinion, based on no real facts, surveys or research and ask my readers for their own ideas in the comments if they so desire to share.
This question was brought to my attention because I have been doing a lot of talks on preparing families for college, kids moving away, parent empty nesters, what kids can expect, how to prepare, etc.
At a recent engagement, I was asked: “Is there a class that you think every college student should take in college?” I was dumbfounded and I think blurbbled (word???) over the question and mentioned something about having a really interesting Chinese history teacher.
When I got home I started thinking about the most helpful classes, self-help books (for some reason I really like self-help books), mentors or lectures I have ever attended and decided to make a list for my readers.
I truly think, again based on no real research, that parents should do their best to teach these skills to their kids, as I have found them most helpful, relevant and interesting in my life.
**Note: These classes are only fruitful if you have good teachers. I have taken the same class over because I thought I was cheated with an unpassionate, uninformed teacher and loved the class second time around.
**Note: I actually mean take CLASSES in these topics, not just a self-help book or getting a few tips from an expert, these are classes where you need to learn a skill set in a structured formal environment like school.
-Now, I do not just mean English, I mean creative writing. I think the earlier kids can learn to enjoy writing about something they find interesting, the more it unlocks the creative juices. Creative writing is such a good exercise for expression, analytical writing and creativity. (I am planning on writing a post on how to encourage your kids to write more from an early age).
-I do not care where you live, where your kid goes to school, how many oral projects they have how shy, how outgoing, how intelligent or how dumb your child is…they need to take a public speaking course. At one point, I was shy, yes actually shy and nervous in front of people. I was forced into a public speaking class in High School and it was one of the hardest, but best classes I have ever taken. Now maybe I am biased because my dad wrote a book on public speaking, but I truly think my peers who have basic public speaking skills do better in life. A class is important because they teach tricks and skills to reaching an audience in all different locals—how to give a business presentation at the drop of a hat, articulate well with a group of friends at dinner or give a keynote speech
-I did have one of the greatest teachers e.v.e.r for Psychology 110, Professor Edwards at Emory University. It shows how much I value the skill and the teacher when I got a B- in the class and worked my butt off. The skills and ideas I learned in the class constantly come up in conversation, when I read business books, dealing with users, talking with my boyfriend—everything!
-Weren’t expecting that right? I took a basic massage class and it has served me so well. Men and women both should take this class for the following reasons:
- I learned more about my own body, posture, how to help back pain and headaches for myself
- Great conversation starter
- It has greatly helped all of my relationships. I make my boyfriend mad because I talk too much about teens and parents—want a massage, babe? I need to ask for extra money from my dad to copyright my ebook—want a shoulder rub dad? My friend is having a stressful day and I want to be supportive—hey, you want a hand massage?
- It was really fun.
(I have to say) What everyone usually says you should take, but never really served me well:
Maybe I didn’t have a good teacher…but Econ 101 has never helped me. I do business, I read newspapers and I only took this darn class because everyone said you have to take Econ. They lied. I think you can get just as much if not more from reading the newspapers or taking an International Studies class—which, these days is way more important.